Botnet attack on WordPress

Over the past two week, we have been tracking an alarming brute force password-guessing attacks against Web sites powered by WordPress – the most popular content management system in use today (Avira Techblog also runs WordPress).


You can see below how various IP addresses (in my example from China) try to connect to the known files in the WordPress installation that deal with login and signup.


WordPress has a default administrator called “admin” which can be changed to any user upon installation. According to various sources, the attack guesses up to 1000 most commonly-used passwords (see here examples).

Brian Krebs reported that infected sites will be seeded with a backdoor the lets the attackers control the site remotely (the backdoors persist regardless of whether the legitimate site owner subsequently changes his password). The infected sites then are conscripted into the attacking server botnet, and forced to launch password-guessing attacks against other sites running WordPress.

There are some things you can do to prevent being hacked:

– Change the default password you got when installing WordPress.

– Change the name of the default administrator account of your WordPress installation.

– Choose a complex password for the administrator account . Learn here how to do this.

– Enable two-factor authentication for WordPress. Learn here how to do this.


Happy blogging!


Sorin Mustaca

IT Security Expert